Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber had some interesting things to say regarding the US Open Cup. Speaking at a U.S. Soccer board meeting, Garber heavily criticized the domestic cup competition for a multitude of reasons. As reported by Jonathan Tannenwald of the Philadelphia Inquirer, he centered the strong opinions towards USSF chief commercial officer David Wright.
Wright began by claiming that viewership of the U.S. Open Cup is up compared to last season. The matches, partially streamed on Bleacher Report’s YouTube page, are supposedly viewed 87% more in average minutes watched compared to a year ago. Nevertheless, the MLS commissioner was extremely critical of the broadcasting of the tournament.
Commissioner claims games are hard to find
“Dave, first, let me give you a shoutout to the group to doing as best you can with this tournament. But I’ve got to tell you from our perspective, it is a very poor reflection on what it is that we’re trying to do with soccer at the highest level,” Garber began.
“The games are hard to find. I’m telling you as an actual viewer, the reaction from our ownership, from our team presidents and even our fans in terms of being able to find the games.”
U.S. Open Cup games are split this season between Bleacher Report, U.S. Soccer’s YouTube, and CBS Sports Golazo Network. While , some have also criticized Apple’s MLS Season Pass for a confusing user experience.
Don Garber blasts field conditions in US Open Cup
Along with viewing issues, Garber also attacked the quality of the games, particularly the actual fields. “The quality of the games — some of the games that we’ve been playing in are on sub-par fields. I would say that they’re not games that we would want our product to be shown to a large audience,” proclaimed the commissioner.
“So frankly, I’m not all that disappointed that the audience is small. I appreciate the enthusiasm about it, but we need to get better with the U.S. Open Cup. It’s just not the proper reflection of what soccer in America at the professional level needs to be.”
There are plans for a “U.S. Open Cup summit” later this summer in Chicago. The USSF will invite fans to voice their thoughts and opinions on helping to grow the tournament.
PHOTO: IMAGO / Sports Press Photo
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Courtesy : https://worldsoccertalk.com/news/mls-don-garber-criticizes-quality-level-of-us-open-cup-20230505-WST-431854.html